Morrissey's second solo album stands the test of time

  • Kill Uncle
  • Morrissey
  • Parlophone

THE trend for remastering modern classics continues with the re-release of Morrissey’s second solo album.

And in the absence of a new LP since 2009’s Years of Refusal, it could be just the thing to keep fans of the former Smiths frontman satisfied until the great man lands himself a new record deal. Originally released in 1989, this follow-up to debut Viva Hate charted at number eight, and pricked-up ears with its diverse musical stylings. And it still delights, veering from the strident piano and narrative lyrics of opener Our Frank to the brooding, juddering Smiths-like Found Found Found.

Along the way, there are the scuzzy guitar and repetitive key stabs of Mute Witness, the twee melody and dark message of King Leer, the sultry Asian Rut and exuberant pop of Sing Your Life. If you don’t own it, buy it at once. If you do, this tidy package is still worth acquiring for the addition of the bombastic Pashernate Love, a richly-textured cover of the Herman’s Hermits tune East West, and a ‘live in studio’ version of There’s a Place in Hell for Me and My Friends.

But more than anything it reminds us of Steven Morrissey’s incredible voice, honest lyrics and overriding warmth.

It also proves, lest we forget, that the Mancunian is among the most imaginative and gifted artists of his generation. And this only whets the appetite for more...